High School All Stars is a regional, audition-based music education program for students who are interested in the study and performance of jazz. The program includes a large ensemble and a combo. It’s designed to help students achieve a mastery of improvisation techniques while advancing their knowledge of music theory, arranging, composition, performance, and jazz history.
Participation includes weekly rehearsals at San José State University and performances in professional venues. The program is under the direction of Dr. Aaron Lington, professor of music and coordinator of the Jazz Studies Program at San José State University and a 2014 Grammy® winner for his performance and composition work with Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
Aaron Kransler, alto saxophone, Aragon High School
Shangyu Hsu, alto saxophone, Homestead High School
Jack Hondagneu, tenor saxophone, St. Francis High School
Zach Matthews, tenor saxophone, Valley Christian High School
Veronica Rodriguez, baritone saxophone, Lincoln High School
Chris Cotter, trumpet, Prospect High School
Chris Drennan, trumpet, Santa Teresa High School
Justin Jio, trumpet, Lincoln High School
Kyle Neubarth, trumpet, Mountain View High School
Kentaro Mori, trumpet, Homestead High School
Timoteo Cruz, trombone, Hillsdale High School
Joseph Yang, trombone, Valley Christian High School
Lenny Ramirez, trombone, Independence High School
Ethan Saxe, trombone, Valley Christian High School
Daniel Suarez, bass trombone, Lincoln High School
Brad Guesman, guitar, Los Altos High School
Shane Turner, piano, Menlo-Atherton High School
Mikailo Kasha, bass, Los Altos High School
Brandon Walters, drums, St. Francis High School
Joy Hackett, vocals, Santa Clara High School
Dr. Aaron Lington, Director
Aaron Lington is a San José State University music professor and Coordinator of its Jazz Studies Program. He is an accomplished music educator, arranger/composer, and saxophonist. California Music Educators Association (CMEA) named him Jazz Educator of the Year; DownBeat Magazine has twice recognized him as a “Rising Star” in the Baritone Saxophone category. Aaron has adjudicated over 20 jazz festivals in the Western United States, including Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival and Folsom Jazz Festival. He frequently performs with his own Quintet, and has performed with the San José Symphony, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra and many others. Dr. Lington earned his B.A. in Music from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, his Masters in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, and his Doctorate in Saxophone Performance from the University of North Texas. Learn more at aaronlington.com.
Book the High School All Stars
Hiring our big band or combo to perform at your event is a great way to entertain your guests while underwriting the program and giving our musicians excellent performance experience. High School All Stars accepts gigs during the school year, working around participants’ school schedules.
San Jose Jazz’s education programs are supported by Southwest Airlines and Hitachi. Progressions is also supported by Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation, William “Bill” Nicolosi, Whole Foods, Wells Fargo Bank, Comerica Bank, Cisco and SanDisk.
High School All Stars Combo at Mountain View High School Jazz Festival